Grey Matters

Parents won’t run out of things to worry over any time soon. A 2016 Pew Research Center report surveyed Americans with children under 18 and found that 60% of these parents worry about their child getting bullied, while 54% fear their child might at some point suffer from anxiety or depression, and a full 50% of responding parents fret over the possibility of their child getting kidnapped. However, here’s one danger the concerned parents might not have considered: high school football. Researchers with the University of California, Berkeley, Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recently finished examining the impact of full-contact football on the adolescent br

Placebo Power

Imagine that scientists have discovered a painkiller that is incredibly cheap to make, has no dangerous side effects, and performs at a level comparable to—or even better than—90% of drugs developed in the United States. You might find yourself wanting to reach for a bottle the next time you sprain your back. There’s just one problem: the medication doesn’t, in the traditional sense, work. It’s a sugar pill. The Placebo effect has been a known entity since at least the days of Ben Franklin, when French King Louis XVI tasked an elite panel of scientists and thinkers—Franklin included—with debunking claims made by Mesmerists. For instance, that a properly trained Mesmerist could cure people’s

Strolling Towards a Better Brain

You already know that exercise is good for you. You may already know that exercise is good for your mind. For instance, you may have encountered studies which show how half an hour of vigorous exercise gives you a boost in brain-derived neurotropic growth factor or BDNF, what’s sometimes referred to as “miracle-gro for the brain.” That’s not the kind of nickname that comes casually; BDNF stimulates the production of new brain cells and increases your neuroplasticity, which allows the components of your brain to work more smoothly with each other. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that the top quartile of older individuals who kept active retained noticeably m

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